Heather M. (gargirl) - Reviews

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Alabaster: Wolves
Alabaster: Wolves
Author: Caitlin R. Kiernan, Steve Lieber, Rachelle Rosenberg
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 4/8/2013


I read these as the individual graphic novels as they were released and they are wonderful. Dark and creepy, gritty and surreal, CRK delivers just the sort of tale we love her for. Good vs. Evil? Sometimes it's hard to tell which is which or on one's perspective. We are all monsters in the perspective of some other being. Highly recommended.


All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome
All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome
Author: Kathy Hoopmann
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 3/3/2011


This is an adorable, heart warming book. It's basically a picture book full of photos of cats with captions about Asperger's. Having 3 kids with Asperger's, I saw a lot of my kids in there and it was quite touching.


The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help
Review Date: 1/9/2015
Helpful Score: 1


I just finished reading this wonderful book. Engagingly written, honest, funny, profound and sometimes sad and wistful this book is now one of my favorites. Amanda talks about her music and her life, her successes and her troubles... she lays it all out there. Fans will love it, Love it. Those who don't know much about her can get a peek at the amazing woman behind the music and occasional controversy.

This book is inspiring!


Baby Teeth: A Novel
Baby Teeth: A Novel
Author: Zoje Stage
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 9/29/2018


I found this book very hard to put down. A strange tale about parenting and the difficulty we all have in seeing those closest to us clearly. Is this little girl evil? or is her mother kind of a crazy nightmare? A fairly quick read, great for a weekend.


The Book of Deadly Animals
The Book of Deadly Animals
Author: Gordon Grice
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 4/15/2012
Helpful Score: 3


Entertaining, informative and frightening. I bought this book with some Christmas money because it looked interesting and I love animals. I thought it might even interest my 9 year old who loves anything scary or poisonous or that can eat you. I've decided that he is a little too young for some of the grim, though well-written, accounts of the injuries and deaths caused by all manner of creatures contained in this book.

That said; this is a very good read even if chapter 15 (Insects) made me change my sheets at 11:30pm and start bright and early the next day cleaning everything and getting rid of anything resembling clutter. (I need to do all that again now...) This book may make you nervous for a bit. It might make you think twice before you interact with wild creatures or let your child ride an elephant or sit next to a young tiger for a photo and that is a very good thing.


Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1)
Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Bk 1)
Author: Anne Bishop
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 93
Review Date: 8/25/2007


A rich, dark fantasy. Definitely not for the squeamish or the faint of heart. The characters are deep, complex and fully realized, so real you might feel you know them. I was totally enchanted, pulled into Anne Bishop's world on the brink of cataclysmic change.

Queens rule and males serve, but the hierarchy has been badly disrupted by a corrupt few who have spread their poison throughout the realm. A faithful few have waited centuries for the coming of the one who will set things right; Witch, she who will be dreams made flesh. But first Witch must survive to adulthood, until she can make her offering to darkness and claim her power so she can save those who have been waiting for her.

Read this book and fall under her spell.


Dies the Fire (Change, Bk 1) (Emberverse, Bk 1)
Dies the Fire (Change, Bk 1) (Emberverse, Bk 1)
Author: S. M. Stirling
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 182
Review Date: 3/27/2013


I didn't know what to expect when I started reading this book; I'd never heard of the author before and I tend to like my post apocalypses zombie-filled. I was delightfully surprised to find myself drawn in by engaging characters and their struggle to survive in a suddenly changed world. There is no electricity, no motorized vehicles, no guns. Various groups of people band together to try to survive against a backdrop of a world in chaos. There are roving gangs bent on violence and pillage, stranded motorists that have gone cannibalistic and tight-knit religious communities, of various sorts, that share among members and protect each other.

The one weak spot of the story is that it is never explained why motors and black powder weapons don't work, but in some ways that almost works as a plus; there is a high likely hood that a world changing disaster might not come with an explanation.

I LOVED this book. It took me by surprise. It was very cool to see the differences between the two main groups of survivors. One was a group of neo-Pagans who fled their city for a remote, rustic cabin in the mountains, and the other is group centering around a family plus the pilot that was flying them to a vacation home when the world changed suddenly. The groups had different priorities and strategies for survival which are narratively put forth in an interesting manor. An engaging and thoughtful story about what might happen if the lights went out, and stayed out.


Doktor Glass
Doktor Glass
Author: Thomas Brennan
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 7/28/2016


I absolutely loved this book. The atmosphere has a bleak steampunk-esk feel and the main character is both relatable and mostly admirable. I enjoyed the blend of science and supernatural and the relatively fast paced story. I read it in a few sittings interrupted by pesky customers at work. ;) I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys pseudo-Victorian crime novels. Excellent!


Feed (Newsflesh, Bk 1)
Feed (Newsflesh, Bk 1)
Author: Mira Grant
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 4/15/2012


I love zombie stories, movies, graphic novels; you name it! And "Feed" is no exception. This book is wonderful; likable characters, plenty of action and dramatic tension and a really cool overall zombie concept.

This book is a few decades after the original outbreak, everyone in the world is host to a dormant infection of the zombie plague which only waits for the right trigger to start the amplification process. Armed guards and constant blood screenings are par for the course absolutely everywhere one might go. The story centers on a couple of bloggers, a brother and sister team; she a "Newsie" and he an "Irwin." Newsies are concerned with the truth, with being factual and getting information to people. Irwins are concerned with putting on an exciting show. Irwins like to poke zombies with sticks and film the resultant action. These two win the right to follow along the campaign trail with a potential future president of the USA and they are in for a very bumpy ride. I don't want to spoil any of the surprises in store so I leave you with this:

Well written and entertaining you will not regret sinking a few hours into reading this book. I'm off to read book 2; "Deadline."


The Galactic Gourmet (Sector General, Bk 9)
The Galactic Gourmet (Sector General, Bk 9)
Author: James White
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 4/4/2008


I found a copy of this book in my local Dollar Store and even though I had never heard of James White it was only $1 so I picked it up. I LOVED it and am now in search of and reading every Sector General novel I can get my hands on.
It was such an interesting twist reading a sci-fi novel about a hospital in space and seeing it all through the eyes of a very alien species who is not a doctor, nurse or patient but an award winning chef. James White must have been one very interesting man. His creativity in creating Sector General and especially, for me, this novel is amazing.


The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World
Review Date: 2/7/2011


A fascinating book! The story of two men coming at the problem of cholera epidemics from very different perspectives and how their determination changed London and eventually other large urban centers from this deadly disease. Amazing what they accomplished considering the challenges they faced.


The Girl With All the Gifts (Girl With All the Gifts, Bk 1)
The Girl With All the Gifts (Girl With All the Gifts, Bk 1)
Author: M. R. Carey
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 64
Review Date: 7/28/2016


I read this book after seeing the trailer for the upcoming movie and it is a wonderful new take on zombies. Well thought out and chillingly bleak, the novel feeds one just enough hope to keep moving, much as it does the characters. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the zombie niche' and is about 16 or older. It isn't super graphic or anything, just too bleak, in this mom's opinion, for younger teens and kids.


Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles, Bk 1)
Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles, Bk 1)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.8/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 3/29/2010


Gregor the overlander is the first installment of a five part series, and it is excellent from the start. Gregor is a kid with a lot to worry about, at 11 years old he has to look after his little sister and keep tabs on his grandmother while his mother works. His father has been missing for some time and life seems to be almost nothing but struggle and responsibility until one day when Gregor and his baby sister tumble into a whole new world hidden beneath our own.

My husband and I read this book aloud to our seven year old and we all loved it. The whole series is wonderful and I can't recommend it strongly enough. There is so much here to love; Gregor and his sister Boots are terrific and some unlikely creatures will steal your heart away. Wonderful adventures captured our son's attention like no other books have. One chapter was never enough and we loved the stories enough to get suckered into multiple chapters per night!


Homeschooling and the Voyage of Self-Discovery
Homeschooling and the Voyage of Self-Discovery
Author: David H. Albert
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 7/1/2009


A wonderful and encouraging book for parents interested in homeschooling, particularly unschooling. As I read this book, I did not find it to contain many nitty-gritty how-to details or ideas. What I found was a lot of encouragement that homeschooling need not be a complicated headache but was natural, that kid's natural curiosity would lead them down the path of learning. It is a reassuring read for parents contemplating or already involved in homeschooling.


How to Sew a Button: And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew
How to Sew a Button: And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew
Author: Erin Bried
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 18
Review Date: 8/6/2012


A great little book full of practical advice and warm good humor. Not an in-depth how to just great hints and tips I wish I could still call my Gramma for. Sew a button, roast a chicken, hem some pants etc. I enjoyed it very much.


iZombie Vol. 1: Dead to the World
iZombie Vol. 1: Dead to the World
Author: Chris Roberson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 2/10/2011


I'm not really an avid fan of comics in general; I picked this up at a local gaming store because I enjoy zombie tales and I liked the cover. The main character is Gwen Dylan who says: "I'm not the girl I used to be." She is interesting and likable as are her friends. I liked issue #1 so much I immediately subscribed and have loved every issue so far. (1-8 and counting) This premier issue is just the first taste of an excellent series. I highly recommend it.


Lord of Snow and Shadows (Tears of Artamon, Bk 1)
Lord of Snow and Shadows (Tears of Artamon, Bk 1)
Author: Sarah Ash
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 63
Review Date: 3/19/2009


An excellent start to The Tears of Artamon trilogy. An unusual hero, a romantic portrait painter from the warm southern lands finds himself kidnapped and dragged to the far north to a land of ice and snow. He is heir to the kingdom and his subjects aren't taking no for an answer. Reluctant doesn't begin to describe Gavril's feelings about ruling this harsh and joyless land, all the more so when he becomes aware of the dark and terrible power he is expected to wield to keep the land and its people "safe."

I don't want to give too much away, but the character development is well done and the layers of intrigue add the right amount of spice to the tale. Well worth the read! I look eagerly forward to book two.


Lovecraft Unbound
Lovecraft Unbound
Author: Ellen Datlow
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 7/7/2010
Helpful Score: 1


This anthology knocked my socks off. I was very surprised to find myself enjoying each and every one of these short stories by twenty different authors who's other works I now intend to track down and read.

The inspiration for these tales was taken, pretty obviously, from the works of H.P. Lovecraft, a master of the horror genre, and these twenty authors have each delivered up something unique and darkly wonderful. Each author writes briefly about when they first encountered Lovecraft's work and the influence they feel that work had on their own writing right after leading us down into their own haunting little tale. The stand-out stories for me were: "The Crevasse" by Dale Bailey and Nathan Ballingrud which evokes a shivering sense of desolate isolation and doom, "Houses Under the Sea" a creepy, atmospheric piece by Caitlin Kiernan that relentlessly drained feelings of light and hope as it progressed and the Sci-Fi flavored gem; "Mongoose" by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear.

This is an excellent anthology and I highly recommend it.


Low Red Moon
Low Red Moon
Author: Caitlin R. Kiernan
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 7/9/2009


This is the fourth book I've read by Caitlin Kiernan and as much as I love the others (Silk, Murder of Angels & Threshold) this was by far my favorite.
Low Red Moon picks up with Chance, Deacon and Sadie a few years down the road after Threshold. Sadie is pursuing her writing with the support of her parents and Deacon is now sober and married to Chance. Adding stress and anticipation to the mix; Chance is pregnant and due to deliver quite soon. But the impending arrival of an unplanned baby is not the problem, of course, the problem is a sadistic serial killer who is zeroing in on Deacon invading his dreams and going after those close to him. As dark as Threshold was, this story is darker and takes us down a rabbit hole with more twists and turns than can be counted.

I couldn't put this one down and when I was forced to by interuptions I was counting the minutes until I could get back to it. This read was gripping and had a momentum that I couldn't resist. This book also introduces new characters and more mysterious and dangerous creatures, with hints and glimpses of a world existing alongside ours but one that most people can't percieve... and it is not a pretty place. Some things we are better off not knowing and, as in H.P. Lovecraft's tales, learning certain things can bring a hapless mortal to the attention of beings it would be better not to be noticed by.

Low Red Moon is a perfect example of urban fantasy at its darkest and best. Highly, highly recommended.


Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, Bk 1)
Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, Bk 1)
Author: Ilona Andrews
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 485
Review Date: 9/3/2007


This book is very hard to put down, I just had to see what was going to happen next. Our heroine, Kate, is a truly strong female; independent, tough as nails and taking little guff from anyone.

I am looking forward to Ilona's next book; Magic Burns. :)


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